Paul Miles

Freelance writer and photographer

United Kingdom

Over 20 years' experience of contributing to the national press, mostly about sustainable travel and architecture, islands and waterways. Also, sometimes about swimming, boating and learning to paint.
Always interested in story ideas especially if they involve being in or on the water.
Not the Paul Miles who writes for Metro.

Building homes for a heating planet

This summer the Pacific Northwest was hit by one of the most severe and sustained heatwaves in history. The " heat dome ", which settled over California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, broke temperature records in the region. July was Earth's hottest month since records began.

Hemp brings high technology to homes

Architects speak a lot about form, often unintelligibly. But architecture is not just about design, nor "vertical and oblique circulation elements", in the words of the late Zaha Hadid. We still want those, whatever they are. We want buildings that make statements and turn heads. Yet materials matter as much as draughtsmanship.

The Telegraph
I've been in happy self-isolation for the last ten years

I've been more or less self-isolating for the last ten years. Days often pass without seeing or speaking to anyone. When I do, it's just a short greeting: some pleasantry about the weather, fussing a friendly dog. Somedays I say more words to the wildlife - a stationary heron or bumbling bee - than I do to my own species.

The Ecologist
Can space tourism be green?

Imagine. You stand alone on the deck of a riverboat as the Amazon jungle awakes, no other humans in sight. Suddenly, two river dolphins appear. They arch through the sunlight's reflection towards you, then jump and wiggle in the air, showing off pale bellies. I have a confession to make.

Inside the Camden eco-home with energy bills of £200 a year

Max Fordham has a thing about heat. The acclaimed physicist and services engineer has spent decades designing heating systems for projects ranging from council housing to the Royal Festival Hall. He talks at length about the sun, fossil fuels, the laws of thermodynamics and how, in the Industrial Revolution, heat - in the form of steam - displaced human labour.

The Ecologist
Tar sands: tearing the flesh from the Earth

As the price of oil increases again, Canada's tar sands once more look like a giant cash cow to the industry. Now, the only thing standing between the 400 ton bulldozers and rampant environmental destruction may be a small group of First Nations people...

Conde Nast Traveller
Magical Realism

My first travel feature in the UK press. It was about the Solomon Islands where I had been living for five years. My work with WWF focused on developing and promoting village-owned ecotourism lodges.

Braving the elements

In South Korea, as worldwide with vernacular architecture, the style varies across the country according to extremes of weather. In the north, where winters can be severe, the homes have walls made of mud bricks or logs and roofs of clay tiles. Sometimes there is an outer wall of reed-like sticks to keep snow from blocking doorways.

The straight and narrow

Location, location, location. The trouble with a house is that it exists only in one place. It is static, rooted to the spot. The joy of a home on a boat is that it - and you - can locate anywhere there is navigable water.